Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 371785

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Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder

Posted by Shadowplayers721 on July 28, 2004, at 23:18:09

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Shadowplayers721, posted by Pfinstegg on July 28, 2004, at 22:49:39

Thank you GG

Pfinstegg-There seems like a big conflict of knowing the outsiders or them getting to really know me. The t has actually drawn pictures of the faces she sees in t. She sees it and hears it, but I am not 100% still wanting to deal with it. It's hard to explain. It's an internal conflict.

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Shadowplayers721

Posted by Pfinstegg on July 28, 2004, at 23:28:19

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder, posted by Shadowplayers721 on July 28, 2004, at 23:18:09

I understand. This isn't something you can rush or just decide to do.

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Pfinstegg

Posted by daisym on July 29, 2004, at 1:19:46

In reply to Being treated for a dissociative disorder, posted by Pfinstegg on July 28, 2004, at 18:16:49

We've talked about this before...I am very much doing what you are doing. I have a very young side, a 12 year old and then there is "me"...The very young side gives me real trouble because she is getting very strong and insistent in her need for "our" therapist. He responds to her very gently and so far has made it easy for her to talk directly to him. The 12 year old is still blaming herself for what happened, especially since she recently completed a memory puzzle that made it clear that the sa was intentional and brutal sometimes...not always "loving" and certainly not an "accident." She is doing most of the writing exercises these days. She writes in a powerful way about her belief in being bad and she is desperate to understand why she kept the secret when she was old enough to know better. Recent writing have led us to discover that she was afraid her dad would go to jail or to hell...or both. So imagine how I handled a discussion today that I was asked to step in a facilitate. Part of the training is for home visitors who are mandated reporters. So they watch a video of "child-abuse" and a report made and the cops come and take away THE CHILD. My fears were that they would take away my dad...The twelve year old freaked out -- The adult remained stoically calm and led the discussion.

By the time my Therapist called this afternoon, the "kids" were put away. I told him what happened and then went on to tell him how disappointed in myself I was that I didn't do as good a job as I usually do. And, that I struggled as much as I did. So we talked about Winnicott's theory of "good enough" and he is asking me to accept that the work we are doing is hard and very emotional. That most people would be having a tough time and that I should try to be OK with "good enough." Which led to a further discussion of my mother's expectations of striving for perfection. Even if you didn't optain in. She never got upset at me for not being perfect, she only got upset if I didn't TRY to be perfect.

I am always surprised by how deep we can go, even on the phone. I guess that speaks to the level of connection we've manage to develop, even among all my fears of attachment. And, he does relate lightly to the adult too...I shared that I started the training with my skirt unzipped...he laughed with me. I should have stopped before I started. It was an omen!

I'm going in tomorrow. My younger self is tantruming about being away all week. He asked her on the phone is she missed him. She said yes. He said he was sad she missed her session too...It is scary how quickly she comes out now when he talks gently to her. He told me not to worry so much, he was pretty sure that the big, bad gatekeeper would show up here again soon and give him hell. He notes that this part of me isn't going down without a fight to the death. And we talked about how slow this process is. He reminded me that it is ME who runs from therapy but he also said he thinks the pacing is fine. Pushing any harder was likely to send me over the edge and into crisis again. He did ask me to think about how I might participate more in the process instead of struggling against it so much. I told him I thought I WAS participating...I let him call me didn't I??!! He laughed and said it was definately a step in the right direction.

Ok, so I wrote more than I intended. I'm just glad to be home and even though it's late, I can't sleep yet. Thanks again for sharing.

Oh, I have a question! When your "little kids" get upset and cry and turn away, what does your therapist do? Does he allow silence?

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder daisym

Posted by Pfinstegg on July 29, 2004, at 7:28:11

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Pfinstegg, posted by daisym on July 29, 2004, at 1:19:46

Good to hear from you, Daisy. I think it's wonderful that you led those groups while you are in the middle of your own private, powerful emotional struggle. Even if you didn't do your absolute best, it sounds like you certainly did fine. It's funny about the zipper, too- something a bit light-hearted to share.

I knew that yur therapist thought the way mine does; I always love reading your posts, as they are fascinating, as well as very helpful to me. I think it's wonderful how flexible and available he is, and a real accomplishment to be able to continue the work by phone. I've never done that, and don't think it's something my T. does.

Hoever, in the phase of the work we've entered now, I see him EVERY day. This allows us to go to much deeper levels, and to keep them out there until the next time. It's very exhausting (not tio mention expensive), but seems so worth it- probably the only way for someone like me to dare to open up this much.

As to your question- the times of turning away to the wall are quite brief- a few minutes at most. He is not silent then; he very gently asks what happened just then to make the little girl, or the older one turn away and start to sob. He often asks which one is feeling so awful. In a few moments or minutes. *we* are talking again. I like very much how much he talks- interacts with the various parts of me. That helps so much.

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder

Posted by Shadowplayers721 on July 29, 2004, at 7:36:09

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Pfinstegg, posted by daisym on July 29, 2004, at 1:19:46

Daisy,

I am like the circus. I am constantly changing. I admire you and Pfinstegg. Your insiders are more trusting in a way, because they are becoming more known. Mine play games, tricks, and clever riddles. I have felt someone listen in literally like a speaker phone. So, I will be crying and not know where the feelings are actually coming from. Sometimes, I will begin laughing and don't know why either. I tell the t this feels insane. So, I am rapidly *switching* as they call it. I never like that term.

My t never has treated anyone with DID before. She was taught that this was extremely rare. She said that she thought she was seeing things when she was seeing these faces come forward.

Yes, I know what you are talking about with the perfection issue. My mother & father had it. My mother even tells me to watch abuse incest programs. I tell her I don't need to, because I am handling as best as I can. There is no right or wrong way. The feelings are your guide.

I feel that people do have parts of themselves the adult, child, etc. But, do yours go by different names? Do you have a religious one that has a Biblical name? Even in my senior year book, I have students hand written notes to one of the names. My mother remembers a child calling on the phone to speak to a girl by another name when I was 12. So, mine is a bit more weird I guess. I think it's normal to have an inner world of children. I think for healthier adults they don't cut off so much and the adult is still able to be feel all sides of themselves. I don't know.

I have physcial problems-shaking, extreme vertigo, headaches, vision changes, hearing changes, seeing things moving, and feeling things moving. One time, I had an ENT treat me for a year for what he thought was an inner ear problem. Nothing showed up. No one could figure out the baffling symptoms. I saw every type of doc imaginable. Finally, I felt this was a mental thing causing all this and decided to see a psych.

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder

Posted by zenhussy on July 31, 2004, at 3:19:57

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder, posted by Shadowplayers721 on July 29, 2004, at 7:36:09

You all have my utmost respect for discussing this here. I'm sorry I'm not able to add my comments as this is something I've learned quite a bit about over the years and yet I still have questions. There are so few places in which to safely exchange information (imho) and this isn't one of them for me. I hope you understand.

I know how to get in touch with everyone but Pfinstegg but I'm sure if I wanted to convey some inquiries someone would be kind enough to pass them along if possible. tia

I am just honoured that you all write this here as you do. You are brave women. You are courageous in all your different approaches to this.

--zh

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder zenhussy

Posted by Pfinstegg on July 31, 2004, at 22:04:06

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder, posted by zenhussy on July 31, 2004, at 3:19:57

Thanks for your message, zenhussy. I understand that you might not feel safe discussing this topic here. I wouldn't have, a year ago, but now that I've become more aware of what's going on with me, and have gotten such wonderful help from my analyst, I felt like I wanted to be more open about it on PB. It's scary to think of having any degree of dissociation- and the people who have posted at various times have varying degrees of it- from private inner switches in ego states to more severe degrees of dissociation which others can observe. It's a hallmark of csa.

I especially wanted to write what I could about it here because I think it's a diagnosis that isn't made as often as it should be. I am very lucky to have a therapist who specializes in trauma and abuse, and who always looks beneath the anxiety and depression for dissociative ego states. I've been to other therapists who basically tried to strengthen my confidence in my adult abilities; this is the first one who has looked for, and related to, my cut-off child states. I was terrified of anyone doing this, but, as I have become able to allow it, and participate in it, the pain I have carried with me my whole life has diminished so much. I wanted everyone to know that, even years later, there is really effective treatment for childhood abuse, no matter what particular kind it is- emotional, physical or sexual, or all of them together. I am thrilled at how much better I feel, and I look forward to going to my analyst, every day for the time being, to keep allowing my *children* to speak to him more and more fully. I try to keep as careful a journal of it as I can, because, despite all the terror and pain, it's such a fascinating journey!

 

ego states Pfinstegg

Posted by Aphrodite on August 1, 2004, at 16:01:52

In reply to Being treated for a dissociative disorder, posted by Pfinstegg on July 28, 2004, at 18:16:49

Your post really resonated with me. Thank you for sharing your moving and poignant story. Your T sounds wonderful. I am especially impressed with how he talks to your younger parts. I completely relate with your description of the children wanting to attach and immediately recoiling at the same time.

I've always had the different voices arguing in my head and heart, and so if one good thing has come from my therapy, it is that this makes sense to me now. I also do not have DID, but I am consciously aware of about 5 ego states that clammor for therapist's attention. Mostly there is the accomodating, functional, and diplomatic adult everyone knows as "Aphrodite," and there is a darker, cynical adult that speaks and thinks very much like my father. There is an isolated and withdrawing teenager who doesn't like conflict and wants to be alone after all the terrible things that happened to her. There is a younger, very wounded child who still has hope and optimism and who wants the interaction with my T the most. And the fifth is a very hidden authentic me, the person the cheerful child may have become if all the abuse and neglect did not get in the way. She is very silent.

I read a technique once in preparing for my EMDR sessions. It's imagining inviting all the different ego states to a conference table and hearing all the objections to therapy, to one another, and trying to reach a consensus. That image works well for me since I often facilitate meetings through in my work life. I can really visualize and "hear" all of these parts of me, and it's less like a million voices in the head -- it's much more organized.

The trick is getting the cynic on board who leaves every therapy session determined to quit.

Thanks for your post and the opportunity to discuss this. It's all so new to me.

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder zenhussy

Posted by daisym on August 1, 2004, at 19:05:28

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder, posted by zenhussy on July 31, 2004, at 3:19:57

Zen,

I'm sorry you don't feel safe here. Maybe I'm so much a pollyanna that I don't see potential hurts where I should. I just feel so much better knowing I'm not the only one having this kind of experience. No one I know irl has ever talked about anything like this. Not that I've ever shared it either...

I hope you are well and making progress.
D

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Pfinstegg

Posted by daisym on August 1, 2004, at 19:09:31

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder zenhussy, posted by Pfinstegg on July 31, 2004, at 22:04:06

I just want to echo that I find it fascinating and frightening as hell...simultaneously! I wish I could say I looked forward to going, but there is still a huge push/pull. My therapist discussed this as negative transference towards therapy as a whole. He meant that sometimes I blame therapy for my pain, instead of my experiences. So I think if I quit or cut back, I won't hurt. He points out that instead I'll just be alone with it all.

I hate when he is right. :(

 

Re: ego states Aphrodite

Posted by daisym on August 1, 2004, at 19:14:14

In reply to ego states Pfinstegg, posted by Aphrodite on August 1, 2004, at 16:01:52

Aphrodite,

Nice to see you venturing back a little...

I like the concept of a meeting. But my fear is that the gate-keeper would scare everyone else into silence again. It works better for me when my therapist sort of sneaks up and talks directly to the younger parts before she can edit. Of course, she does jump in as soon as she catches onto what is going on.
--D

 

Re: ego states Aphrodite

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 1, 2004, at 22:30:32

In reply to ego states Pfinstegg, posted by Aphrodite on August 1, 2004, at 16:01:52

Thanks so much for replying, Aphrodite. Even though I am finding my own therapy experiences with my dissociated parts to be so powerful- and so helpful-, I felt that maybe I was venturing too far into unknown territory in speaking so candidly about them here. So I do really appreciate the support from you and Daisy- I feel so reassured that i didn't cross over into too uncomfortable an area.

I think there are presently only three or four of us posting about ego state disorders (I think that's the correct term when you don't have DID, but have something less severe along the same spectrum). I put up a huge fight against recognizing that I had it (to the point that my T. said, "you're almost making ME doubt it, too!- not really- he was teasing) But, as the various parts began to emerge- often through slips of the tongue, or strange things that I couldn't believe I'd actually said- the whole process of therapy has gotten easier and begun to make much more sense. I don't really know what lies ahead- in terms of how integrated I'll be able to get, but just learning to give all the different parts a voice- and to try to respect and comfort them- has made me feel a lot better. Do you feel, as my T. and I do, that it is an under-diagnosed, and under-treated, disorder?

I'd love to know how EMDR fits into your therapy. It sounds like it's a real help. Is it supposed to help the unconscious parts of your different selves become more integrated with one another, or more available to your conscious awareness?

 

Re: ego states

Posted by Aphrodite on August 2, 2004, at 13:10:12

In reply to Re: ego states Aphrodite, posted by Pfinstegg on August 1, 2004, at 22:30:32

You know, my T hasn't said anything about it being underdiagnosed. In fact, he hasn't called it anything at all, so I'm glad to know your term for it -- "ego disorder." I'll ask him. I believe he thinks everyone has this to one degree or another; it's just that for us, some of our ego states have been traumatized.

As for EMDR, the visualization inherent in the process seems to be a way to build "ego bridges" that link the various parts of ourselves with the ultimate goal of integration. I find it very helpful. For instance, I have visualized a literal bridge in which the child part of me lead the adult by the hand across the bridge to the experiences and memories that I have suppressed.

Does that make any sense?

 

Ooops . . . above for Pfinstegg (nm)

Posted by Aphrodite on August 2, 2004, at 13:11:11

In reply to Re: ego states, posted by Aphrodite on August 2, 2004, at 13:10:12

 

Re: ego states Aphrodite

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 2, 2004, at 15:12:16

In reply to Re: ego states, posted by Aphrodite on August 2, 2004, at 13:10:12

Yes, thanks! It's very helpful to hear a bit more detail about EMDR. It's an unknown area to me, but my own T. sometimes uses it as an adjunct to his own therapy (he doesn't do it himself, but recommends to someone who specializes in it). I am considering it, and so want to learn all I can.

I think our Ts would be entirely in agreement about the ego states. He thinks, also, that everyone has different parts, but that in non-traumatized people, the parts are naturally more integrated. In Ego State Disorders, there start to be abnormal degrees of non-integration, with cut-off parts carrying the memories of trauma, neglect and abuse. We probably have the mildest degree of this, while people suffering from DID/MPD have the most severe. I really feel for them, as it must be SO hard to get started on the road to re-integration.

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder

Posted by Dinah on August 7, 2004, at 20:07:26

In reply to Being treated for a dissociative disorder, posted by Pfinstegg on July 28, 2004, at 18:16:49

Drat. Writing about the phrase "archaic inner child remnant" reminded me of the EMDR therapist who used it.

She gave me the DES (Dissociative Experiences Scale), which I answered honestly and which proved beyond a shadow of a doubt in her trained eyes that I dissociate no more than the average person.

I just realized that what I should have said when she gave me these gladsome tidings and referred to my archaic inner child remnant is: Ok, clearly I don't dissociate more than the average person. But shouldn't I take the test too?

 

Sorry.

Posted by Dinah on August 7, 2004, at 20:11:07

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder, posted by Dinah on August 7, 2004, at 20:07:26

That was probably an inside joke.

Oh, I am on a roll now.

(Sorry, I just remembered how annoyed I was at her at the time. I thought I had put it aside, but perhaps that's why I had no real success with EMDR.)

 

wait for it............OH, I get it! LOL (nm) Dinah

Posted by gardenergirl on August 7, 2004, at 23:38:21

In reply to Sorry., posted by Dinah on August 7, 2004, at 20:11:07

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Dinah

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 8, 2004, at 19:32:57

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder, posted by Dinah on August 7, 2004, at 20:07:26

Just from following your posts- can it really be a year and a half by now?- it's never crossed my mind that you had any more dissociative tendencies than normal either. I guess everyone does it a little bit, but it;'s only when you get big, unknown parts cut off from the *you* that you know that you have to work to reclaim those parts in therapy. I don't know for sure, but from what I have learned about myself, as well as what I have learned here on PB, I don't think it happens to an excessive extent unless real abuse has occurred during one's childhood. Everyone who has posted about it seems to have had roughly the same childhood history. Still, I'd be really interested to know if it occurs in other situations, such as detached, manipulative, hostile, narcissistic mothers and fathers, etc.

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Pfinstegg

Posted by Dinah on August 8, 2004, at 20:34:05

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Dinah, posted by Pfinstegg on August 8, 2004, at 19:32:57

I really am sorry for my post. I wasn't feeling well last night and was a bit too edgy. That phrase really grates on me, even in memory. My therapist thinks it's hilarious and often uses it in a teasing way, perhaps to remove the sting from it.

I'd be happy to email you more about my what I meant by what I wrote, but I still don't really feel safe posting here on the board.

But I understand if you'd rather stick to the board, too. :)

(BTW, I haven't any abuse history.)

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Dinah

Posted by Pfinstegg on August 8, 2004, at 20:54:22

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Pfinstegg, posted by Dinah on August 8, 2004, at 20:34:05

Hey, no need to apologize for anything- if you said anything which might have hurt anyone- first, nothing hurt me, and second, I think the fine points of what you said probably flew right over my head! I know you didn't have outright abuse, as I did, but you had what sounds like confusing, subtle emotional abuse by parents who have significant problems of their own- different, but not easier.

I am pretty busy, and while PB is wonderfully helpful to me, I would prefer to keep to the open boards, as I find I can't keep up with any more e-mails. Maybe avoiding Admin. has helped me keep feeling safe here- not sure, but it looked like it was pretty hurtful over there for a while. Anyway, even when I don't post, yours are the ones I always try to read.

 

:-) (nm) Pfinstegg

Posted by Dinah on August 8, 2004, at 21:15:19

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Dinah, posted by Pfinstegg on August 8, 2004, at 20:54:22

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder

Posted by Dinah on August 8, 2004, at 23:30:13

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Dinah, posted by Pfinstegg on August 8, 2004, at 20:54:22

I just want to add that I have immense respect for those of you who do feel free to discuss this on Babble. Any bitterness in my posts (and I'm glad if my posts were so obtuse that the bitterness wasn't obvious) was directed toward myself for not being stronger, not anyone else. Certainly not those who are stronger than I am.

Sometimes what I wish more than anything for myself is to have the courage to be honest, and not to care what anyone says. Not to be hurt by remarks from people I don't know, or even by people I do know. To be proud of who I am, and to be able to proclaim it loudly. But my bursts of self disclosure of the things that are important to me are generally short and easily short circuited by criticism of any sort.

What I *need* to do is to develop a shield against negative feedback. But it's so darn much easier to just hide those things that might bring on negative feedback.

Anyway, you guys have my profoundest admiration. Really. You're all I'd like to be.

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Dinah

Posted by rs on August 9, 2004, at 5:42:54

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder, posted by Dinah on August 8, 2004, at 23:30:13

Hi Dinah. Thanks for sharing that. I could of posted that. Your reply gave me so much support in some way. Feel like everytime I share something its wrong so I do not bother and know its a personal thing

 

Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder rs

Posted by Dinah on August 9, 2004, at 9:53:40

In reply to Re: Being treated for a dissociative disorder Dinah, posted by rs on August 9, 2004, at 5:42:54

Thanks. :)

I had a very brief try at being an advocate. But I found that any time I shared of myself, I got bit on the derriere. So I slunk off in shame and fear.

Unfortunately, I hate myself for that. Leading to a nearly unbearable amount of internal dissonance.


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